Changes to the assessment of trainees on the new curricula

A series of changes are being planned to the assessment of trainees on the new STP curricula.


The introduction of the new Scientist Training Programme (STP) curricula across all specialties provides the National School and the healthcare science community with an opportunity to rethink and to improve how the training programme is delivered and assessed for the 2022 intake and beyond.

The School is currently working hard on a number of assessment initiatives which we hope will:

  • continue to provide the healthcare science community with confidence in the quality of the programme and of the trainees who complete it
  • enable us to respond to assessor feedback and move beyond some of the temporary changes to the programme that were introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

In particular, we are working on the following initiatives which we intend to develop and refine in consultation with trainers and assessors in the community.

A new STP end point assessment for 2025

  • The end point assessment for the trainees who have begun the STP in September 2022 will be different from the IACC.
  • We expect that it will take the form of a standardised, viva-like interview only.
  • The demand upon assessor time will be substantially reduced as compared with the current IACC.
  • A rigorous quality assurance approach will ensure that standards are applied consistently.

A lightweight model of external assessment in the workplace

  • We intend to introduce a lightweight amount of external assessment of workplace-based assessment (OCEs, DOPS and CBDs) to enhance the confidence of the healthcare science community in trainees’ practical skills.
  • The School conducted a consultation about this initiative with experienced trainers and assessors in the summer of 2022 and we intend to be very responsive to the feedback we received about ensuring that this approach is realistic and feasible.
  • The aim is to introduce a light, additional layer of rigorous, consistent assessment of STP trainees’ practical skills.
  • Introducing a small amount of independent assessment of practical skills in the workplace allows the programme to change the focus of the end point assessment.

A revised approach to progression review

  • We intend to refresh how training progression is reviewed so that it is more manageable for trainee, trainer and the National School, enabling the School to target its support to trainees who require review, help and guidance.
  • We expect to introduce a model of progression monitoring which will set trainees minimum and realistic targets for progress on their OneFile e-portfolio for key points in the programme.

Last updated on 12th January 2023